Want Publicity? 3 Important Tips
Free is good. Who doesn’t agree with that? Publicity is often perceived as free advertising, and as such is highly sought after by anyone looking to get their brand name out there. Those attempting to get media coverage, however, soon learn that it’s anything but free. Instead of paying directly for placement, as is the case with advertising, costs related to Public Relations (PR) are indirect, such as a publicist’s fee. In addition, even the best publicist can’t guarantee placement, because there are a myriad of factors that come into play when a company gets mentioned in the media.
Whether managing media relations yourself, or hiring an in-house or independent PR specialist, consider these tips: time your announcements appropriately; communicate with the right people; and most importantly, make sure what you say is interesting.
Timing is Everything
With media evolving and trending more and more toward online channels, the timing of a release is becoming much more flexible. What I mean by that is, if you have seasonal news related to summer you can release it during the summer and the online channels are more adept at possibly posting your news.
If you are seeking more traditional channels, such as a print magazines, you will need to be mindful of their editorial calendars and especially their lead times. National consumer print magazines are generally six months out. They need to have time to plan and prepare for story layouts, recurring columns and paid advertising. So if you want to be mentioned in a summer edition, you or your publicist will need to pitch them in the late fall/early winter for best results.
Trade magazines are a bit more nimble with their lead times meaning they aren’t quite so long, but it would be best to also be mindful of their need to plan ahead and give them a few months advance notice to increase the odds of placement.
One final consideration with respect to timing is to be mindful of the editorial calendars for the media you are seeking and pair your news releases with the topic they are planning to cover in a given month. This will afford a more compatible fit for your placement within the issue.
Know the Media Contacts
Nothing annoys a member of the media more than a mass email with a press release and no indication that the sender knows who is on the receiving end of the email. While personalized emails may be cumbersome, if you are hoping to issue a press release to several hundred members of the media, you should at least personalize the most important ones.
I would recommend you prioritize the most relevant: blogs, national consumer magazines, trade magazines and members of the television media. The appropriate editors for your category should receive personalized releases with specific language addressing the value of your news to their audience. If you are looking to enamor an editor, hoping they will choose your piece of news over countless other solicitations they receive, your odds will improve greatly if you appear to have made a genuine effort to understand their content and objectives.
News MUST Be Interesting
When was the last time you were at home and stopped what you were doing to fix your attention on the TV because you overheard someone talking about the Gap’s newest color T shirt? Probably never. Consider that the editors are likely also not moved by the news of your newest fabric colors or minor adjustments to your products.
In today’s overly saturated news market, it takes truly remarkable news to get a second glance. Think about what it is you have to say and why someone will want to spend time reading it. Would you stop to read it, if it weren’t from your own business? How does your news add value to a particular publication or news outlet? Is your news offering something of value to the reader, either in the form of information, education, or entertainment?
Be Strategic with PR Strategy
Don’t get a reputation as a press release spammer. Give some thought and consideration to the content of your news releases. The company that only sends newsworthy releases has greater odds of getting read each time they issue a release.
Consider the frequency and timing of your releases. Make sure you are contacting the right individuals and doing so with the appropriate level of personalization.
Finally, and hands down the most important take away here, make sure whatever it is you have to say is interesting. If it’s not interesting, even an editor that loves your brand won’t publish it. Just ask yourself if you would read it; if not, why would anyone else?
About Insights Discovered
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Insights Discovered was founded by Penny Redlin in an effort to share her professional expertise within the children’s product category. The company’s mission is to give every mompreneur an opportunity for success. Insights Discovered exclusively services children’s products brands. The specific industry focus demonstrates a strong dedication to the unique needs of children’s products companies. Insights Discovered offers strategic planning, market research and traditional marketing services.
For more information, visit www.insightsdiscovered.com or call 702.218.5707.